With the hysteria of ENACTUS Nationals also upon us, I recently had the pleasure to deliver a workshop on presentation skills as part of ACT! Training. My words of wisdom are summarised below:
1. Great presentations are memorable, and play at your emotions, they tell a story. For this reason your presentation should have a clear structure of a beginning a middle and an end:
2. Remember videos are great visual stories – it helps you connect with your audience. Remember the brain processes visuals 60k times faster than words, think about how this will help you send your message and ‘make it stick.’
3. Focus on getting your audience to say Yes – Why / How / & What?
• Why should I care?
• How is this important to me (is it relatable?)
• What is going to happen? (how does the story end?)
Remember judges at the competition will see numerous presentations, how are you going to make yours be the one that sticks in their mind?
4. Ditch the bullet points… permanently! Remember – people do not remember bullet points they are not emotional, find another way!
5. For your presentation focus on paper first, powerpoint second, at least 10 hours building the slides with limited or no bullet points, and a minimum of 10 hours rehearsing in front of different audiences. Getting people who are not familiar with ENACTUS and your projects is a great way to see how clearly your message gets across.
6. Do not overcrowd the slides, keep it simple – one key message per slide will make it more memorable
7. Passion is critical. You have invested a substantial amount of time on your projects, and should be passionate. Being clear and concise is not enough, judges want to see passion and enthusiasm.
8. Make sure you explain projects and acronyms clearly, you know your projects and what they stand for, the judges do not. Make sure you avoid this common mistake
9. Enthusiasm is wonderful, although you can be too enthusiastic. Remember it is a presentation and not an interpretive dance, please make sure you are not distracting the audience.
10. Start as you mean to go on. A strong start will grab the audiences and more importantly the judges attention, how can you make a connection?
Focusing on these top ten tips you are now on the path to deliver the most impactful and memorable presentation to date, good luck!
Graeme Butler, Group Talent Acquisition Specialist